I learn lessons in so many unexpected ways. This is how I learned about the power of building a strong relationship.
I recently shared a post on my personal Facebook page. Nothing unusual about that. It had come up on my newsfeed a couple of times. The first time I scrolled by, not bothering to read it. The next time it came up I looked a bit closer. It had been shared a couple of times by people that I knew from a bloggers group I belong to, so I clicked on the link. It doesn’t matter what the content was about, because that is not the point of this blog.
I agreed with the article, so I shared it. I didn’t add any comments or a header for the post. Just clicked on share and went on my way. Later that evening, back on Facebook, I checked the notifications and saw that my friend Natalie Davison had shared the post. In fact, it was the first post on my newsfeed.
She did not agree with the article, and she explained why, with examples. She also stated that she felt that the article was hurtful. I read her post and completely understood her point of view. As I was reading it, I got a private message from her, again explaining why she felt that way and that even though we had different opinions, that she loved and valued me, and our relationship.
I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”
The real reason for this blog is not about sharing Facebook posts, even though the experience has given me lots to think about when I share posts. It is about being strong enough in a relationship to be okay with having a different opinion than the other. Expressing those differences in an authentic and caring way, that does not diminish the other person is so important, but it is also important to receive those words without taking it as a personal attack.
I am someone who has often felt attacked by someone else’s words and taken those words deep into my heart. I never felt that way when reading the post that Natalie shared. When she took the time to send me a personal message, it showed me that I am a valued friend and that our relationship is one that can face differences of opinion, and disagreements.
Natalie came into my life at a time when I needed direction and someone to help me to see the truth that I was afraid to face. She led me through a quagmire of emotional turmoil and helped Ray and me to release a “dream” that had turned into a nightmare. She is a friend, a mentor and marketing goddess. I am a better person for knowing her, and I continue to learn from her.
I told Natalie that I felt there was a blog post about relationships in that learning experience, and here it is.